INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Gina Sheets Wednesday recognized 58 Indiana farming families with the Hoosier Homestead in celebration of their 100-year plus commitment to Indiana agriculture.
“Today we celebrate the agricultural heritage of our farming families,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “We salute their innovation, their determination, and their dedication, which have allowed them to succeed for more than a century—here’s to at least 100 more successful years!”
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. Today 42 families received centennial awards, 14 families were recognized with sesquicentennial (150 year) awards, and two families celebrated more than 200 years of Hoosier farming.
“As the practices of agriculture continue to evolve, families like those honored at today’s ceremony remind us of the deep cultural roots farming has in our state,” Sheets said. “Although business and technology play a significant role in farming, the recipients of the Hoosier Homestead award show us that agriculture is ultimately about family and community.”
More than 500 attendees packed the Farm Bureau Auditorium at the Indiana State Fair, including family members traveling from as far away as San Antonio, TX and Atlanta, GA. Attendees ages also spanned 100 years, from newborns to Sylven Gerber of Bluffton who was born on his family’s Adams County farm more than 99 years ago.
A press release from State Rep. Cindy Ziemke offered her congratulations to the two families as well.
The awards were presented by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Agriculture Director Gina Sheets at the Indiana State Fair.
Ziemke’s press release stated the Schumaker Farm of Batesville has been in operation since 1912, and the Kessler Farm of Manilla started in 1887.
The Mayley Farm in Columbus started in 1881, the Mobley Farm began operations in 1908 and the Eddelman Farm in 1900. The Caldwell family received the Bicentennial award for 200 years of ownership and the Schumaker, Kessler, Male, Mobley and Eddelman families received the Centennial award for more than 100 years of ownership.
The Hoosier Homestead program began in 1976 to acknowledge the contributions these families have made to Indiana agriculture. More than 5,000 farms have been recognized since the program was established.
“The dedication and perseverance these families put into their farms for more than 100 years should inspire us all,” said Rep. Ziemke. “It is wonderful to see family-run businesses last so long. It gives hope to new businesses and reminds of what the Hoosier state is all about.”
– Daily News